The Hot Sultry Side of Menopause

There’s a part of me that has been awakened.

This part of me had been mostly dormant for years, but the older I get, the more I notice my physical self reacting to sights, smells, and sensations in a big, bad way. It’s my sweat glands.

I guess it would have been more accurate to say the salty side of aging rather than the sultry side.

I have also found my vocabulary has dwindled.

There are only so many minutes in the day to speak. It’s hard to find the time to discuss 19th century literature, medieval history, or the pros and cons of using a top sheet when so many of those 1,440 minutes available are used saying the following sentences:

Is it hot in here?

Goddamn, it’s fucking hot in here.

Who turned up the heat?

Aren’t you hot?

I’m burning up.

I think my feet actually caught on fire.

For all that is holy, turn off the space heater. Do you want me to die?

I swear, if we don’t open a window, I’m going to vomit on you.

Holy shit, look at the size of the zit on my chin.

Okay, that last one doesn’t have anything to do with being constantly overheated, but damn.

You should have seen the zit I just had. It had smaller zits orbiting it. I think it may have affected the tides. Just the Atlantic ocean. Not the Pacific. Don’t be silly.

I thought I was finished with my face exploding. I didn’t have acne as a teen, but I made up for it with adult onset acne. It’s been months, maybe a year, since I’ve had a zit. But does that mean I get to be done with it? No. No, apparently I do not.

I also get super cold.

I’ve always been quick to overheat. Cold weather doesn’t bother me a lot and I’m not fond of summer. I mean, if it’s  frigidly cold out, I’m just as uncomfortable as the next crabby, sweaty menopausal woman. But I am never chilly indoors.

Until a few years ago.

So, mostly, I am catching on fire.

I am sometimes afraid my face will melt off except for when I’m freezing and no amount of blanketsMenopause chases away the chill. Even curling up next to Randy doesn’t work and I’m pretty sure Randy’s ass is part furnace. Usually, when we’re in bed, I’m telling him to stay on his side of the bed because I’m fucking hot as shit (yes, you are. Ed.)

But now, there are nights when I’m freezing and cannot get warm. I am tempted to cut Randy open like Luke Skywalker cut open that tauntaun and crawl inside. Because the furnace ass just isn’t enough.

No worries. Randy is in no real danger. Probably. 

I also have moments where my entire body goes at war with itself.

I am cold and sweating, which you would think can’t happen, but it absolutely does. I feel overheated and miserable, yet chilly. It’s no fun and the worst is when it happens at night. I have actually taken the covers off and on so rapidly that I cause a draft in the room. Which both feels good and makes me too cold.

I don’t want to be a total downer about aging. Mostly, it’s amazing. I love who I am becoming. I feel better in my head than I ever have.

The bizarre, rapid temperature changes are exhausting, though.

 

Photo courtesy of Comfreak

 

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Add your comments below. Profanity is encouraged, but not required. ;)
  1. Diane says:

    The only thing worse than one menopausal woman in the bedroom is two. Thankfully I am done with that mess for the most part, but trust me on this one. Two, is two too many!

    I fully commiserate with the, it is cold it is hot, and why is the window open when it is -40 outside AND the fan is on. (That one is completely my fault.) And, I still have the nerve to say, “I am hot!”
    It does get better. I am still hot, but I was always hot before puberty even, so not suspecting that is going away anytime soon.

    Get an electric blanket…one that you can turn on one side, but not the other. For those cold nights. And if Randy is having a cold moment. Turn his side on too!

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      I don’t know if I’m ready for an electric blanket yet…That sounds like torture..I am USUALLY too hot. With moments of freezing. And yeah, two menopausal women in the same bed? Misery.

      Reply
      • Diane says:

        Ice packs are your friend! Unless you roll over on them and the accidentally break. And you have blue stuff everywhere. Then they are the enemy.

        Reply
  2. Lisa K says:

    I was taking the black currant and the evening primrose, for a few months… They do help, but I think they may be a little constipating and that’s a ‘no-go’ situation with a double whammy 😉
    I’d rather have another baby than be constipated… so…
    Y’know….
    For me, having a ‘power surge’ when I’m in my super-duper, extra warm feeding clothes with a cart full of hay is the worst.
    I have to stop and rip off my hood and stocking cap and get my head cooled off, at least… I’m pretty sure the horses can see the steam billowing around me.
    I don’t even bother relaying my changing inner thermostat… Tim can see the sheen and sometimes, my bangs stick to my forehead 🙂 for the ‘wiping of the brow’ that defies all makeup and curling iron presets.
    The adult onset acne is just the icing on the cake, ain’t it?

    Reply
  3. LORI says:

    LMAO, it’s funny because it’s true! I hear you, yes to all of this! I’m perimenopausal – so I’m going through night sweats and then extreme chills and my period is out of control! Ugh! This is part of the reason why I don’t wear Foundation anymore. 5 minutes after putting on my face it’s already melted off and my makeup looks like a snow cone in July, even though it’s March.

    Reply
  4. Lou Clyde says:

    Been there, done that. I’ve got a 1 degree comfort zone now. My favorite part of this story? The zit. (It had smaller zits orbiting it. I think it may have affected the tides. Just the Atlantic ocean. Not the Pacific. Don’t be silly.) Hysterical.

    Reply
  5. Now I’ve got Anne Ramsay in “Throw Momma From The Train” saying “The night was SULTRY, dammit,” stuck in my head.
    Not that you in any way resemble Anne Ramsay. Aside from being really fucking cool. And hilarious.
    I should get out of here before I add any more hot air.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      HAHAHAH…my bad grandma actually looked quite a bit like Anne Ramsay and I favor (in looks) my dad’s side of the family…soooooo…that MIGHT be in my future.

      Reply
  6. The best is getting a hotflash in the grocery store, and off goes the coat…and the scarf…and the sweater, and would anyone care if I took my boots off? It’s not fair when it’s snowy and freezing, what are we supposed to do, wear summer clothes to the grocery store? ugh. I have found that eating keto helped tremendously with the hot flashes. And shh, if you ever have post-menopausal bleeding, don’t say I didn’t warn you about the dreaded endometrial biopsy, have it in the hospital asleep, don’t let them bull you that it’s NOT THAT BAD.
    Della

    Reply
  7. Harry says:

    The good news, so far as I can tell, is that after all of this, you’ll never feel hot again. I have been around my mom, aunt, and grandmother quite a bit lately, and they seem to always be cold.

    But they still don’t talk about 19th century literature… granted, they didn’t do that when they were 30.

    Reply
  8. Sorry, Michelle. Laughing. You make it sound so funny and that thought about opening up Randy like a carcass I’m sure made his eyes pop out. As someone older, don’t worry, this will pass. Once you’re safely on “Menopause Island,” this stuff evens out. (Fun being female, huh?)

    Reply
  9. Paula says:

    As Laurie Stone said, this too will pass. I was hot one night and my ex touched me and said damn you are hot. I told him you should be on this side. The good thing is I was always cold natured, not any more. I still have them on occasions when I am anxious-really stressed. Since I left the last job it doesn’t happen as much. It always cracks me up when I go to the doctor and they ask me when I had my last period. I know for sure it was not this century.

    Reply
  10. Haralee says:

    The funniest things are true because we can all relate! I had goosebumps on my arms but my brain did not register I was cold and to put on a sweater. Of course I thought I was having a brain aneurism with links in my brain were not working! I wrote a series of posts a couple of years ago on “How to get through Menopause without becoming a felon”.

    Reply
  11. I was drenched 10 seconds after my husband hit the bed. Since he’s an insomniac and can’t go back to sleep if awakened, and he was awakened when I repeatedly threw off the covers and stripped off my pajamas, we decided on separate beds (for sleeping). Having my own queen sized bed in a room where I control the temp has been a big help. I’ve also noticed a decrease in sweats since I started exercising more. It’s not over, but it’s better. And at least, at the gym, I’m supposed to be hot and sweaty! I avoid mirrors though. Once, in a barre class, I had a flash and the mirror in front of me fogged up. No lie.

    Reply
  12. That’s climate change that no one can deny. Stay strong, it gets better.

    Kinda.

    Reply
  13. Shani says:

    Yeah, that doesn’t sound like fun–sorry (but it was fun to read as always!)
    I don’t think I am going through menopause yet (I would love that because my periods suck sooooooooooooo bad. I hear I don’t want it, but my periods suck soooooooooo bad) but when I am laying down in bed I have two temperatures–Hot as all fucking hell and why is it so fucking cold. There is no in between. And it is only when I am in laying down in bed. I can be laying on the sofa…normal…but in a bed, no matter the temperature outside—hell or why is it so cold?

    Reply
  14. Doug in Oakland says:

    Being male and all, I think I’ll just try to avoid saying anything stupid and hope that you’re feeling better soon.

    Reply
  15. When I was going through the change, we had a waterbed. One with a very nice handy-dandy temperature control on it. So every morning when I was making that bed, I’d turn the temperature control down a teensy bit. My husband, who’d been sleeping in the nude since we first got married, suddenly pulled out and started wearing an antique pair of pajamas. Me? I thought the bed was finally feeling GOOD. One morning, my hubby jumped out of bed and stood next to it glaring at me like a pissed-off gorilla. He said, “I can’t stand it! You’re sucking all the heat out of my body!”

    Good little wife that I am, I laughed my ass off. Needless to say, we got rid of the waterbed shortly after that.

    And yes, I TOTALLY used that story in my novel “Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade.” 🙂

    Reply
  16. Stef says:

    Omg yes…

    I’m way past menopause because somehow our family lucked out and it starts and ends for us between ages 39-43 (yay me), but I still seem to have a residual *flash fry* setting internally. Which is awesome because I’ll be sitting in my favorite chair, minding my own business, then suddenly it’s like the actual chair is on fire and—“OMG ARE YOU HOT WHY IS IT SO HOT IN HERE I MUST TAKE OFF EVERY PIECE OF CLOTHING RIGHT NOW OR I WILL ACTUALLY MELT”, which totally doesn’t work when you have company and the windows are already open, even though it’s 25 degrees outside. So, yeah…

    I can see them all giving each other that “Mom’s gone around the bend a little, hasn’t she?” look.

    And so much yes, to no monthly nonsense any more. Just YESSSS

    Reply
  17. Diane says:

    It is good to find humor in menopausal misery. I have dealt with hot flashes and night sweats for close to 10 years. I finally went on hormone replacement and AAahhh! what a sweet relief it is. Before hormone replacement as crazy as it sounds, I would even go through a sweat/freeze session in the shower. Thanks for the humor–love it and need it!

    Reply
  18. This is hilarious, and spot on. Ready for the Burning-or-Freezing Woman to pick a team, any time now.

    Reply
  19. Connie says:

    Hahahahahaha! Thanks for the laugh!
    Just wait until your joints start aching and your leg and groin gets a feeling that they are going to give out but not ALL the time only sometimes. Talk about living on the edge. Must be Mother Nature’s way of making life exciting.

    Reply
  20. Red says:

    The new phrase in our house is “peri-menopausal temperature fluctuations”. I don’t know that I’m experiencing hot flashes yet (which means I’m probably not), but I get randomly feverish! Not sick, just a fever. Weird? I assume it has to do with aging.

    Reply
  21. I believe you about the cold sweats. For some reason, when I overheat my belly goes ice cold. The only explanation we’ve got so far is that I’m not actually human… which Husband says makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

    Reply
  22. a good laugh on a hot topic! have been having sweats for the last 5 years and am sick of it… they are getting better but i live in a tropical country and its always hot so having hot flushes in 90 F is really fun…
    The mood swings were probably the worst for me, crying over nothing and anger over the smallest of things. but its getting better, hopefully it will end soon.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Knock on wood, my mood swings have passed. I was treated for PMDD, which is PMS on steroids. It was a nightmare. I’m so much better now. Not that I’m giving up my xanax, but I don’t need it nearly as much.

      Reply
  23. curvyroads says:

    Oh my God, I swear, you are living my life, just a few years later! I mean, even down to the ablation (seriously the best choice of my life).

    And of course, much more articulately. 😀

    I’d like to tell you that it gets better…but I would be lying through my teeth. The zit part does get better, but the hot/cold/hot/freezing/hot, not so much.

    Reply
  24. Val says:

    Ah, menopause – don’t ya love it?!? The only time you can be simultaneously sweating & shivering…
    At least I’m down to an average of only one hot flash per night

    Reply
  25. Val says:

    Oh, & we used to have a waterbed too – although our problem was the opposite: I kept on cranking up the heater until I was slowly parboiling my husband! (He’s so hot-natured he could’ve slept on the bed COLD)

    Reply